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Old 29-01-2013, 18:16   #46
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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The real sailor is a state of being and mind. It has nothing to do with the length of time at sea. I "sailed" as a 3rd and 2nd mate on one of the last cargo steam ships in the MSC fleet, S.S. Robert E. Lee out of NOLA, she was a lash ship and we made all ports call in the middle east, bringing missiles and food to impoverished nations. We beached her doing 21kts at Alang, India, getting from there to the airport was an adventure all in itself. If I were to tell all the stories I have be it commercial fishing, sailing, tug boating, ship wrangling, there would be plenty here to call BS, even if I told the unvarnished truth. Fact is those are my adventures, and I don't care if anyone else believes them or not. If you work on a vessel because it pays more than slinging hash in a cafe, then you are not a sailor, if you go to the sea for the love of it then you are a sailor, regardless your mode of crossing.
Alot of sailors were killed in Pearl Harbor in 1941, and I'm sure many of those didn't consider themselves sailors at heart but they died in their post like sailors. But I do see your point. Seems like you had some great experiences shipping. Great to know you.
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Old 29-01-2013, 18:19   #47
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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29Palms,
Glad to make your acquaintance.
I live near Hilo on the Big Island. I also have a bit of property up near the Volcano and on a day when the wind is just right we smell the sulphur from the active vent and you can hardly see an eighth of a mile down the road. Luckily that only happens when there is a south wind which is rare. Active vent is about 5 miles from that area as the crow flies.
That was Camp John Hay. I'll always remember that Christmas Eve..
I was on nuclear powered cruisers for over 3 years too and have some stories to tell about taking another fossil fuel cruiser that lost its power in tow and doing well over 20 knots while towing. I was on the USS Long Beach and USS Bainbridge.
I didn't learn to really sail until I was already in the Navy for 9 years and had served aboard 3 Destroyers.
A good sailing story sometimes needs embellishment as is experienced by reading Tristan Jones. I'm practicing embellishment but am not good at it yet.
I have a few. One I don't need to embellish is being a lookout on the bridge wing while in a hurricane and doing 45 degree rolls. I can embellish the excitement I fealt but I expect most sailors will feel it by just hearing that description.
kind regards,
Regards to you too. A submariner is a treat here on these forums. I passed through a few typhoons out near Guam several times. Even on land on Saipan, experienced two strong ones. The third one PAKA had her eyes on us too but decided to take it out on Guam, and boy did she pay dearly. Cheers.
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Old 29-01-2013, 18:22   #48
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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One of the first jobs I had as a ABS was watchstander aboard the Williams, a P2 MSTS vessel carrying the last 5,000 Marines to Viet Nam in late '66. I was about a year or so out of the 'gator' Navy and wanted to go back to Nam as a civilian to take a look around and try to make some sense out of my experiences there in the U.S.S. Westchester County (LST 1167), which got blown up by a limpet mine about that time.Over twenty lives lost and the compartment I was berthed in destroyed. On the Williams, we visited four ports and I was able to go ashore in all four. On the way back to San Francisco, I told the mate, "When we get back to Frisco, you can pay me off." He looked at me and said,"You're Civil Service now, you idiot. You don't work and they can't fire you." I just smiled and told him that I had seen what I had come to see and that I had a life to live.

I left shipboard life too under similar circumstances. I am NOW an aviation maintenance technician. No regrets but wow, what an experience shipping out. I know of an MSC ship called the PFC DEWAYNE T. WILLIAMS, wonder if there is any relation. She was positioned out on Guam, but I believe she may be in Diego Garcia now.
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Old 29-01-2013, 18:35   #49
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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A real sailor is someone who goes to sea and KNOWS HOW to depend on someone else, but doesn't HAVE to depend on someone else, and can always be depended upon BY someone else. Sea stories, donkey-shaving, Baguio waterfall sitting, DG Seaman's Club flirting with the cutely smiling but unobtainable barmaids, typhoon riding, Pitcairn Island mail delivering, oakum and pitch caulking, sail sewing, astrolabe navigating, shrimp heading, swordfish wrestling, whale harpooning, shipwreck surviving, alligator circumcising, wrong way solo nonstop circumnavigating in an Optimist dinghy, bordello wrecking, jail breaking in third world countries, native girl harem collecting, tsunami surfing, pirate repelling, are all optional and not necessarily required. <standing matter-of-factly but my feet are tired so I think I will sit at the quiet end of the bar and have another drink>

Yes but without all this commotion of sword rattling, shanghaing, grog drinking, powder burning, cutlass throat cutting, marooned naked on an island, cheating on women in every port, punching out the chief cook, punching out the chief mate, dumping a wise guy over the launch boat, slapping happy dolphins in the snout, cutting out the jaws out of JAWS, sticking a barb up the stingrays ass itself would make for a rather dull and boring sailor right? Then you will want to join the end of the bar that's talking all about it so you can put your two cents in too right? Especially when the rum starts flying.
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Old 29-01-2013, 18:47   #50
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

It's just a label. Just go sailing and you're a "real sailor."
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Old 29-01-2013, 20:46   #51
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

Have a real sailor take you down to the bilge and show you the golden rivet.
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Old 29-01-2013, 21:12   #52
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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Have a real sailor take you down to the bilge and show you the golden rivet.
I was saving that one to show to the old lady.
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Old 29-01-2013, 22:59   #53
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

I never made it aboard a submarine except the deck of the USS Bowfin as memorial in Pearl Harbor. Looked pretty claustrophobic but submariners too could be considered sailors although most surface types called them "bubble heads" and they referred to us surface sailors as "targets."
kind regards,
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Old 30-01-2013, 04:53   #54
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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and they referred to us surface sailors as "targets."
that's because we liked to deal with facts!
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Old 30-01-2013, 08:07   #55
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

I know a guy who spent 10 years on the nuke submarines and I have a lot of respect for what they do, I don't know how anyone could spend 9 months under the polar ice cap. He always knew a lot of card tricks and such, I guess they have a lot of time on their hands.
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Old 30-01-2013, 08:17   #56
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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It's just a label. Just go sailing and you're a "real sailor."


Or you can sit around and discuss how many angels will fit on the head of a pin.
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Old 30-01-2013, 08:19   #57
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pirate Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

'Sailor'.... the most mis-used term since the age of steam...
Right up there... even above 'Blue Water Cruiser'...
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Old 30-01-2013, 09:29   #58
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'Sailor'.... the most mis-used term since the age of steam...
Right up there... even above 'Blue Water Cruiser'...
Amen!

IMHO I would jump on a sailboat with you or some of the other guys who have significant small boat TransAt or TransPac versus a friend I have who holds a 500?T all Oceans ticket. Having moved from open ocean kayaking in a boat that displaced 400lbs to a 10,000 boat- I firmly believe bigger is easier!

Just one guys opinion..
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Old 30-01-2013, 10:18   #59
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pirate Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

Ahahahahaaa... not slapping myself on the back mate...
just remember quite a few stokers who'd disappear when we got steam up... not to surface again till back in port then on go the No1's and its 'Hello Sailor'...
So I stick to seaman... no double meanings either guys...
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Old 30-01-2013, 10:36   #60
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Re: Will the Real Sailor Please Stand Up

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'Sailor'.... the most mis-used term since the age of steam...
Right up there... even above 'Blue Water Cruiser'...
Ok, so what is your suggestion to call a crew that goes from SAIL BOATS to MOTOR VESSELS suddenly? Only difference to me seems that instead of sail and rigging duties, you just cut the job down to several boat ENGINEERS. What? Engineers? That must be a misused term kind of like Sailors. I thought Engineers designed things. Not performing just mechanical duties, like monotoring oil pressure, temperature and adding fluids.

For starters. I never considered myself a sailor. In all honesty, I never was a sailor. If anything, I consider myself a "SOLDIER OF THE SEA". That is what I was initially. A soldier of the sea is a term used for the USMC. We called U.S. Navy "Sailors". We were Marines. Marines ride Naval vessels along with the Navy. Marines are not sailors. They ride on ships. That is what M-a-r-i-n-e stands for. "MY ASS RIDES IN NAVY EQUIPMENT". I was in amphibs in the USMC, also rode in LST's. Am I a sailor? No.

Secondly, I was a contractor on board vessels. My duties pertained to equipment on board the vessel and not the vessel itself. I was never a Merchant Seaman, nor was I ever a sailor. I was a Marine on board Naval vessels, and I was a contractor on board MSC ships named after Marine Corps medal of honor winners. And I know shipboard life. I did work on military equipment and Naval boats, the LCM-8 for instance that was on board our vessel.

I'll take all this experience over being a sailor any day of my life.
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